Florida superintendent goes wire-to-wire to win 2021 event in Palm Springs, presented in partnership with The Toro Company for the 27th consecutive year.
PALM DESERT, CALIF. — Seth Strickland, the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Miami Shores (Fla.) Country Club, shot a two-day total of 1-under-par 143 to win the 2021 GCSAA National Championship, conducted as a part of the GCSAA Golf Championships, which are presented in partnership with The Toro Company. It was Strickland’s fourth victory overall and his first since 2009. He also won in 2005 and 2008.
Contested on the Mountain View Course at Desert Willow Golf Resort, Strickland found himself tied with another former champion, Steve Gilley from The Woodlands (Texas) Country Club, after round one, with both players finishing at 1-under-par 71. But the second round belonged to Strickland, a 20-year GCSAA member. He led at one point by six shots before settling for a four-shot victory.
“The last time I won, my daughter was 1 and my son wasn’t born yet. They’re now 12 and 10,” Strickland says. “I think people know how much this event means to me, and once you win one, you want to win more. It’s been a long wait, but it’s worth it. This just means the world to me.”
Strickland’s four victories now make him the most decorated player in the event’s modern history — four other superintendents have won three times — and he stands behind only Emil Mashie, who won six championships in the 1940s and 50s, for the most wins in the tournament’s 70-year history.
Gilley finished in second place overall, with a two-day total of 3-over-par 147. Another past champion, Michael Stieler, CGCS, from Spring Creek Golf and Country Club in Ripon, Calif., finished third overall and won the event’s senior division.
The GCSAA National Championship was part of the broader GCSAA Golf Championships, which attracted 110 participants to Palm Springs for flighted play and a three-person scramble event. The event was presented in partnership with Toro for the 27th consecutive year.
Strickland won’t have to wait long to defend his title as the 2022 GCSAA Golf Championships will return to its regular spot in February, held in conjunction with GCSAA’s Education Conference and Trade Show. The tournament will take place Feb. 5-7, with the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines serving as the host hotel and both the North and South courses at Torrey Pines among the facilities hosting tournament play.